Category Archives: Asia

Trishuli, Nepal (December 2023)

Our team is now complete and everyone is excited to ring in the New Year doing something special!

In 2015, Nepal experienced 3 devastating earthquakes that left hundreds of thousands of people homeless. Thankfully, all 23 of the homes built by the Fuller Center prior to the earthquake withstood the disaster in pristine condition. This includes the 11 that were completed in Trishuli in the Nuwakot district, which was directly in the heart of the earthquake zone.

Currently an estimated 7.7 million people live below the poverty line in Nepal with only basic necessities.  People are forced to take shelter in structures fashioned from any available materials, including mud bricks, stones, wood, hay and plastic.  Families have very little protection from the elements.

The Fuller Center in Nepal is committed to serving families and making safe and affordable homes a reality in the community of Trishuli, where housing is now the biggest community need.  Our team will be building a 300 sq ft earthquake resilient home which will include two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bath with a shower and a toilet.  The home will be supplied with the capability of electricity, water, and plumbing. The foundation is often built into the hill side and constructed of rocks and cement. Walls are made from concrete blocks and are reinforced with rebar. 

About the Global Builders Program

Global Builders is The Fuller Center for Housing’s short term volunteer program, sending teams on domestic and international home-building trips, where partner families help build the homes and then will repay the cost on a no-interest basis to help more local families. All trips are hosted by our trustworthy Fuller Center covenant partners around the world, who love having volunteers join them in serving God by partnering with the poor. 

For more information or to join a team, visit

About The Fuller Center for Housing

The Fuller Center for Housing, faith-driven and Christ-centered, promotes collaborative and innovative partnerships with individuals and organizations in an unrelenting quest to provide adequate shelter for all people in need worldwide. Their foundational principles include the beliefs that: We are part of a God movement, and movements don’t just stop. We have been called to this housing ministry; we didn’t just stumble into it. We are unashamedly Christian, and enthusiastically ecumenical. We aren’t a church but we are a servant of the Church. We are faith-driven, knowing that after we’ve done all we can do the Lord will help finish the job — something that requires us to stretch beyond our rational reach. We are a grass-roots ministry, recognizing that the real work happens on the ground in communities around the world through our covenant partners — so a large, overseeing bureaucracy isn’t needed. We try to follow the teachings of the Bible and believe that it says that we shouldn’t charge interest of the poor, so we don’t. Government has a role in our work in helping set the stage, but that we shouldn’t look to it as a means to fund the building of homes.

To learn more, visit

This post contains information provided by the Fuller Center for Housing.  Their help and support is much appreciated.

Upper Mustang, Nepal (December 2023)

Contact Tricia today for more information on how to join the team as we bring health care to a remote area of Nepal!

People living in the Upper Mustang region of Nepal lack access to medical services and many have never had a proper checkup with a qualified physician. Instead, they have relied on practices found in folklore and/or the local Lama. People have often remained sick after these treatments or have had tragic results from the lack of a proper care.  

During this Clinic, a team of medical doctors and professionals organized by the Himalayan Guge Organization (HGO) will offer free checkups, workshops, and health assessments for every individual that attends the health campaign. HGO is also committed to providing the health campaigns that will be needed to ensure proper follow up and long-term care for previous camp attendees.  Volunteers will assist in all aspects of the medical camp as they are able.  It’s a unique opportunity that we are excited to share with you!

One of HGO’s main purposes is to promote and preserve the medical practice of Sowa Rigpa, or Sorig, the Science of Healing. The Sowa Rigpa medicinal system is based on herbs primarily found in the region and has been practiced in the Himalayas of Nepal for centuries. The proximity of the raw materials (herbs) to make the medicines means it is much more cost effective and accessible on a regular basis than the western medicinal system. The camp will be staffed with professional and qualified medical staff and Sorig Doctors.  Sowa Rigpa services will be supplemented with traditional western medicines, if the issues faced by the individual calls for such treatment.  Volunteers will experience local culture and customs first hand. 

Volunteer Itinerary

  • Dec 16-17:    Arrive in Kathmandu and acquire permits
  • Dec 18:          Fly Kathmandu to Pokhara
  • Dec 19:          Fly Pokhara to Jomsom, Jeep to Ghilling
  • Dec 20-21:    Free Health Clinic in Ghilling
  • Dec 22:          Jeep Ghilling to Dakmar
  • Dec 23-25:    Free Health Clinic in Dakmar
  • Dec 26:          Jeep Dakmar to Jomsom
  • Dec 27:          Fly Jomsom to Pokhara
  • Dec 28:          Fly Pokhara to Kathmandu

Volunteer Activities

  • Assist Doctors in taking blood pressure, heart rate, resting pulse
  • Assist Nurses in distribution of medication
  • If qualified, help to provide additional medical care
  • Register patients when they arrive
  • Manage the queue, distribute water
  • Other logistics jobs as needed
  • Assist camp and HGO staff as needed

Participant Cost: $2575, includes a $566 Donation to the Health Clinic

Cost includes: English speaking licensed group leader & assistant, Domestic flights and all airport pickups/drop-offs, Accommodations (shared basis), Ground transportation in Upper Mustang, All meals in Upper Mustang, Permits and government taxes, Staff costs and salaries

Cost does NOT include: Nepalese Visa and International Airfare, Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara, Travel and Rescue Insurance, Tips for Staff, Drivers, Guides, Personal expenses (laundry, bottled water, etc.), Any additional charges due to emergencies

About Himalayan Guge Organization

Himalayan Guge Organization (HGO) was founded in 2013 with a primary purpose of fostering and promoting health (through the Science of Healing, Sowa-Rigpa or Sorig), education, culture and community in the Himalayan region of Nepal.

To learn more, visit

This post contains information provided by Himalayan Guge Organization.  Their help and support is much appreciated.

Siem Reap, Cambodia (December 2022)

In December 2022, our team set off for Cambodia and spent a wonderful week with Volunteer Building Cambodia. We worked side by side with local skilled tradesmen and two families. Together, we constructed two homes with detached latrines and installed two solar systems.

Approximately 80% of Cambodians live in rural areas. Of these, nearly 85% are without access to adequate sanitation facilities and 35% do not have access to safe drinking water. Many families in these communities live on less than a few dollars a day. Their income does not go far. Owning a sturdy home that provides protection from the elements gives families a new sense of security and safety. Similarly, having access to safe water and sanitation facilities has a dramatic impact on their health. All together, when families achieve their dream of a new home they are not just safer and healthier, but also happier and more productive.

About Volunteer Building Cambodia

Volunteer Building Cambodia (VBC) is a locally run, community-driven nonprofit that helps to uplift families. Through their construction program, VBC is focused on improving the living conditions of families rural areas by providing them with wells, toilets, solar systems and safe, dry housing. As of June 2023, VBC has built more than 380 houses, provided more than 160 wells and installed more than 235 toilets. Additionally, many of the houses have been upgraded with solar panels, fans and rudimentary lighting.

In providing safe secure housing, sanitation facilities and education VBC hopes to help break the poverty cycle and support its families on their journeys to self-sufficiency.

To learn more, visit

This post contains information provided by Volunteer Building Cambodia.  Their help and support is much appreciated.

Public Art for Better Space (2020 Quarantine Edition)

Many visitors arrive in Hanoi excited to check out the Ceramic Mosaic Mural which was recognized in 2010 by Guinness World Records as the largest ceramic mural in the world at that time.  Yes, it’s a great tour stop and one could spend hours strolling, inspecting, and photographing this 4 mile work of art.  But I’m never one to focus my time on the “popular” spots!  I took this opportunity to explore a lesser known but (to me) more beautiful work of art…and I’m glad I did.

The Vietnam-Korea Joint Project Public Art for Better Space (NGHE THUAT) Project was initiated as an art exchange project to celebrate 25 years of friendship between Vietnam and South Korea. 

The murals are located along a ~200m stretch of Phùng Hung Street under the railway which leads to the Long Bien Bridge.  There are 19 paintings designed to celebrate the culture and spirit of 1000 years of history in Hanoi.  But this is not just a historical exhibit.  The murals include interactive and 3D paintings which delight visitors and invite them to become a part of the art.  Some are truly incredible!

Some depict scenes of daily life in Old Hanoi…

The Master Caligrapher at Work usually draws quite a crowd!

Many of the murals invite viewers to interact and become a part of the scene.

The murals are not limited to just paintings – they are multimedia art.

This beautiful 3D cutout mural uses a technique called trompe-l’oeil.

And of course, the railway art project would not be complete without a depiction of the bridge to which it leads!

Photos don’t really do it justice, but I really enjoyed this experience. My only regret is not spending more time “interacting” with the murals!  Add it to the list for next time. 🙂

Kawazu Sakura Matsuri (2020 Quarantine Edition)

We’re stuck inside, travel (and other life) restrictions in full swing.  But our minds are still free.  And there are so many things we can learn, enjoy, and discover from the wonders of our own internet-filled living rooms.  So, where should we begin? 

I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel quite a bit over the past ~decade.  I actually started this blog hoping to share and process some of those experiences but to be honest, I’m usually too busy enjoying the trip to take the time to sit down and capture it in words!  And when I do, it takes me forever because I agonize over making it perfect – as any self-respecting, detail-oriented scientist would. 🙂 Ahhhh…luckily, I’ve suddenly found myself with a lot of time at home on my hands.  It still won’t be perfect, but at least it’ll occupy a few minutes of my time.  And maybe it’ll be a welcome and positive distraction for you, too.

Instead of debating the perfect opening post, I’m just going with the one that calls me in the moment.  Growing up near Washington DC meant that The Cherry Blossom Festival was always such a big deal.  If you’ve never witnessed first hand the pink and white beauty reflecting in the Tidal Basin, you should really add it to your bucket list! I can’t remember the last time I went, though, because the number of tourists usually outnumbers even the number of blossoms.  That is, if you are lucky enough to catch a peek before rain, snow, wind or any number of other natural “disasters” wipes the blooms off the trees and leaves puddles of pink on the ground.  If I lived within walking distance, this would definitely be the year to try since tourism is limited.  Anybody from DC reading this?  Have you seen them this year? ❤️

In early March of 2015, I went to another cherry blossom festival – the Kawazu Sakurai Matsuri on the Izu Peninsula in Japan.  Cherry trees in Kawazu are some of the earliest and slowest blooming in eastern Japan, providing the more than 1 million annual visitors with a wonderful welcome to spring.

Reaching Kawazu is a relatively easy by train and once you are there, you notice not just the beauty but also the street festival atmosphere during this time of year. 

Families come to enjoy good weather and partake in shows, games and of course food!

Luckily for me, not everything was made of fish…hahahaha.

If you want to learn more about this festival, here’s a great summary.

This trip was for me, at the time, a welcome break from the bustle of busy Tokyo (and life in general!).  Today, it brings back fond memories of a wonderful trip with friends and colleagues.  If you find yourself in Japan, make your way to Kawazu and enjoy!